Last week I got the opportunity to have a chat with Jeff Witzke whom you might recognize as the star of House Husbands, the web series I previously reviewed earlier this week on Geekadelphia. Jeff is an actor and writer from Los Angeles, California. Some of Jeff’s most memorable roles include the kidnapper in Jason Reitman’s film Thank You For Smoking, the uber-Hollywood baby talent agent in last season’s Nip/Tuck, and on stage as Brother Brightbee, in the eleven month Los Angeles run of the smash-hit Book Of Liz, by Amy and David Sedaris.
Recently, Jeff just celebrated the world premiere of Reitman’s newest film, Up In The Air, where he has a cameo opposite George Clooney. Jeff will also be in the season premiere of The Mentalist opposite Simon Baker. I had a lot of fun chatting with Jeff about everything from why he decided to produce his own web series to what was his favorite Star Wars film.
Can you tell me a bit about how a your background, and why you decided to become an actor?
I guess my major interest started in high school, my best friend and I always just loved fooling around and making our own home videos. So then we decided to get involved with school plays as well. We both got cast in the various plays, and acting in those really got me into loving acting. I still continued to make home videos for our friends and family, and that really solidified “Oh this is fun, I like doing this!”.
I saw you continued your career in college, on a student produced college sitcom. How was the transition from a college run sitcom to national TV and film?
You know that was actually a fantastic opportunity, because I haven’t since heard of many colleges that have a school sitcom being produced on campus. The great double edge sword of that is, it was student produced, student written and student acted as well. There was little bit of faculty oversight, but they really let us do whatever we wanted so we could learn from our successes and on the other side of it, we learn from our failures as well. So it was a fantastic learning experience, and one of those great exercises in learning by doing. Some of the skills I learned by doing that I completely carried it over to working on professional TV shows. So in some of my acting classes I was proud to say, “Oh I’ve done some sitcom work in my college.” The great thing is that show it’s called The Show at Michigan State is still being produced today, 20 years later it’s still running and is known as the longest running sitcoms in college history.